Wyss Fellow: Greater Gila Advocate
Campaign: Grazing Permit Retirement & Wilderness Designations in the Greater Gila, NM
Work Level: Full-Time Exempt, two-year position
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Background: The Greater Gila region, the birthplace of Aldo Leopold’s wilderness ideal and home to an additional 2.2 million acres of potential wilderness, is one of the most important conservation landscapes in North America. Often called the Yellowstone of the southwest, it deserves the attention and protections given Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, and the Grand Tetons. It also deserves a healthy and robust population of Mexican wolves. WildEarth Guardians has been working intensively in the Greater Gila for nearly two decades and our landscape conservation work is poised to reach significant new milestones in the coming 24 months.
WildEarth Guardians seeks a two-year, Wyss Fellow to help advance a market-based approach that retires high conflict cattle grazing allotments on national forest lands and leads to new wilderness designations. After six years working on this campaign, we now have an opportunity to designate over 200,000 acres of new wilderness and retire grazing permits on nearly 300,000 acres in the Greater Gila. This work leverages years of efforts partnering with ranchers to retire grazing permits on allotments that have high wilderness and wolf conservation values; success will implement a new rancher-conservation relationship in the southwest that sets the stage for designating wilderness over the coming decade while also helping to maximize Mexican wolf recovery.
A WildEarth Guardians’ Wyss Fellow will bring an expanded on-the-ground presence and leadership to our campaign over a two-year period. We have a history of developing and mentoring future conservation leaders. Eligible candidates will just be completing their education or are new to the conservation field with the potential to become leaders.
Complete existing acceptable agreements with Gila National Forest and secure 4-6 additional agreements on the Gila and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests that result in waiver of permits and retirement of allotments.
Elevate the local, regional and national profile of our vision, strategies and tactics for protecting the Greater Gila Bioregion.
Secure key stakeholder support for both permit retirement and wilderness designation of qualifying lands.
Secure congressional support for legislation, and see legislation introduced and passed, that designates over 200,000 acres of new wilderness and retires grazing permits on nearly 300,000 acres in the Greater Gila.
Activities and Responsibilities:
Become knowledgeable about local landscape, geography, conservation history, and WildEarth Guardians’ mission, vision, and long-term strategies and goals.
Become a spokesperson for WildEarth Guardians’ efforts in the region.
Develop new print, video and web communication and fundraising materials and outreach tools to promote the campaign.
Support program director in engaging and mobilizing Greater Gila public lands ranchers to support federal permit retirement legislation.
Help attract additional funds to finance initial permit retirements.
Engage NM and AZ Congressional delegations to build support for and secure passage of legislation that would make grazing retirement agreements permanent and designate new wilderness.
Build relationships with and secure support from key Forest Service and state wildlife and water quality agency personnel, NGO partners, and fishing, hunting and recreation and wildland-oriented stakeholders.
Mobilize members and allies in engaging politicians and the media to support introduction and passage of legislation.
Plan, organize and run the first-ever Greater Gila Bioregion conference.
Stipend: $40,000 - $42,000.
Closing Date: 1/17/2014
WildEarth Guardians is an environmental advocacy organization working to protect and restore the wildlife, wild rivers, and wild places of the American West. WildEarth Guardians was founded in 1989 and has a long history of conservation successes protecting carnivores, ancient forests, rivers and other threatened landscapes and wildlife. We rely on a potent combination of litigation, education, scientific analysis, and public advocacy on behalf of the West’s threatened wildlife and wild places. WildEarth Guardians is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination in employment and opportunity because of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or age.